A restaurateur representing some 256 businesses in the Birmingham area has paused a judicial review bid over the Government's decision to close pubs in Tier 3 regions in light of new, "constructive" talks between regional representatives and Westminster.
Sam Morgan said he had delayed issuing a pre-action letter to allow the Mayor of West Midlands and the Leader of Birmingham City Council to continue talks on securing additional support for hospitality from the Government.
Morgan, who represents the Birmingham Hospitality Group, announced his intention to pursue a judicial review last week (Friday 4 December).
He said at the time: “The class action calls on the government to provide one of three things, starting with more substantial data in support of their findings.
“If they cannot provide it, then they need to provide more substantial support for these businesses to survive, as some are on the verge of insolvency because of the Government's arbitrary action.
“And, if they cannot provide numbers one and two, then they need to allow us to trade with relevant safety restrictions.”
Morgan also claimed that the decision to close pubs and restaurants in tier 3 while gyms, churches and hairdressers could stay open “seems particularly harsh and discriminatory”.
In a statement released today (Monday 7 December), Morgan said he welcomed the "open and constructive dialogue with the mayor who has pro-actively alongside the Chamber of Commerce pushed for additional support for our sector".
According to Morgan, fears that a judicial review would stall the discussions between local authorities and Westminster were behind his decision to halt the legal challenge.
Morgan added: "Independently we accept that it is important that the sector allows its elected representatives to see such discussions through.
"The basis of our action is primarily to understand more about why we are closed and how we can move forward as a sector and bring this matter to a close with our business's remaining strong to support the economy.
"It is important that this position is understood and is the basis for constructive discussions between all parties and as such we welcomed the discussion with the Mayor of West Midlands."
Morgan said: "It is such that I have opted to delay issuing the letter before action to allow the Mayor and leader of the council to continue constructive dialogue with the UK Government in the hope this can be resolved, we understand that this may not turn out as we hope and as such our case remains in place should such a suitable resolution not be achieved."